Job Losses Due to Being Unvaccinated Lower than Expected

Unite Union national secretary John Crocker

Industry unions have suggested that the number of private-sector job losses resulting from employees refusing to get vaccinated was much lower than expected, unions suggest.

Unite Union national secretary John Crocker said early surveys conducted by several companies in affected industries before the vaccine mandate came into effect suggested as much as 10 percent of the workforce would refuse the jab.

In the end, only about 1 to 2 percent of union members in the hospitality workforce refused to comply with the mandate, Crocker said.

At larger fast-food companies and cinemas, the number was slightly higher, with 3 to 4 percent of members affected by the mandate losing their jobs over vaccine refusal.

McDonald’s spokesman Simon Kenny confirmed job losses were low, saying while some staff did leave due to the vaccine requirements, the final number per restaurant was relatively small, and the number of staff who left and were hired in December was like the trend over previous months.

Crocker said the relatively low numbers refusing jabs came as a relief.

“Initial hesitation was worrying companies when it looked like up to 10 per cent from initial surveys, but that came down considerably as the day of reckoning approached.”

Although the high-level outlook seemed positive, some businesses have been severely affected by the mandate, including celebrated Moeraki restaurant, Fleur’s Place, which closed indefinitely after half its staff refused to get vaccinated.